How to Prepare African Spice Mixes

African spice mix on black stone plate
Copyright: alexraths

African spice mixes are commonly used to add a strong, pungent and extremely spicy flavour to dishes. My favourite uses the calabash nutmeg along with alligator pepper and selim peppers. The most interesting mixes use cummin seeds and coriander seed as well with a slight Indian addition. You could say these are Afro-Indian spice mixes.

The first spice mix really flavours soups, meats and vegan dishes. Just rub it into tofu before frying and it will change its flavour for the better. The second one is the best for a steak or again for rubbing into tofu. 

The ingredients are sourced as followed:

  • alligator pepper
  • cumin seeds
  • calabash nutmeg
  • selim peppers

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African Spice mix No.1


  • 5 calabash nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp alligator pepper/melegueta pepper
  • 6 selim peppers
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground

African-Indian Spice Mix No. 2


  • 3 calabash nutmeg
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seed
  • 2 ground cardamom powder
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground

Nigerian Spice Mix for Pepper Soups:

This Nigerian spice mix also uses a small amount of sugar. The palm sugar could be replaced with cane sugar or brown sugar.


  • 2 chillies – chopped finely
  • 1 calabash nutmeg
  • 3 selim peppers
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
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